Google apologises for glitch that left smart speakers unable to answer questions

Google has apologised after a technical glitch left its internet-connected Google Home speakers unable to respond to queries.

The smart speakers house the artificial intelligence-powered Google Assistant which responds to voice commands and requests.

Users worldwide reported that queries were met with the response of “there was a glitch” or “sorry, something went wrong” and to “try again in a few seconds”, but the device still failed to work.

The technology giant has now apologised and said it has corrected the issue, confirming it had also affected some of its Chromecast TV streaming devices.

“We’ve rolled out a fix for the issue impacting Google Home and Chromecast users. If you’re still experiencing an issue, contact us at Google Home Support,” a Google spokesman said.

“We are really sorry for the inconvenience and are taking steps to prevent this issue from happening in the future.”

Google has not disclosed the cause of the issue, but said users should reboot their device to get it working again.

Users reported a range of issues, including some who claimed the issue meant their wake-up alarms did not go off and caused them to oversleep.

Smart speakers have become increasingly popular in the last three years, driven by the launch of Google Home and its rival the Amazon Echo, which is powered by Amazon’s own virtual assistant Alexa.

Google Home

According to YouGov figures from April, smart speaker ownership in the UK doubled at the beginning of 2018, with one in every 10 homes now using such a device.

The success of the devices saw Apple also enter the connected speaker market earlier this year with HomePod, which is controlled using voice commands issued to Apple’s AI assistant Siri.

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